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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 6, 2008

Birds fall to Canoneers’ fire-power

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville girls’ basketball team faced a familiar foe in last Wednesday’s Class CC Sec-tion II semifinal contest.

Watervliet stopped the Lady Blackbirds from earning a spot in the final. The Lady Canoneers proved to have enough firepower to shoot down the Blackbirds 45-35. Wa-tervliet went on to win the Class CC championship last Friday, knocking off the top seed, Mechanicville.

It was Watervliet’s third win of the year over Voorheesville and last Wednesday’s differ-ence was the largest between the two teams.

"My kids always play hard," Voorheesville Coach Robert Baron said. "The Watervliet girls did a good job. I don’t al-ways tip my hat to the other team, but I have to tip my hat to them."

"We couldn’t drop a shot"

The Blackbirds struggled in the second half to get shots to fall and the Canoneers took advantage, getting the ball inside to their big guns, sen-iors Paige Colfer and Chanessa Blakemore.

"We couldn’t drop a shot," Baron said. "But we worked real hard on the defensive end.

But 23 [Blakemore] and 32 [Colfer] their seniors inside played hard. We looked to stop 23, and 32 stepped up and that made a big difference."

Voorheesville led at half-time, 21-20, thanks to a 6-1 run in the final minute and a half of the second quarter.

The Blackbirds trailed, 19-13, with 3:23 left in the second frame.

Mary Kate Prendergast scored on a nice reverse lay-up with over two minutes left in the stanza. Kelly Glath then hit a jump shot to draw the Blackbirds within four points with 1:30 to go until the in-termission.

Blakemore made a free throw for Watervliet. Elizabeth Madden then scored after grabbing an offensive rebound with 45 seconds left, making the score 20-19.

Then, with nine seconds left, Madden knocked down a close-range jump shot to give Voorheesville the lead.

The lead was short lived as Tierney McGlynn made a free throw early in the third quar-ter to tie the contest. Waterv-liet regained the lead on an inside basket by Colfer.

Prendergast tied the game, scoring inside after receiving a nice pass from Casey Becerra.

Becerra knocked down a jump shot with 4:25 left and Voorheesville led, 25-23, with 4:25 left in the third frame.

"Momentum changed"

Colfer scored inside for Wa-tervliet and then Voorheesville turned the ball over on the in-bounds pass and Molly McGrouty scored to give the Lady Canoneers the lead back, 27-25.

Becerra tied the game after scoring inside but Watervliet got a foul shot from McGrouty and Colfer scored off a re-bound. Colfer then scored on a drive to the basket and the Canoneers had a five-point lead, 32-27.

Madden hit a close-range jump shot to pull the Black-birds within three, but Colfer knocked down a jumper with 1:27 left in the quarter to keep the Canoneers ahead.

The third quarter ended with Watervliet holding a 36-29 edge and Voorheesville was not able to catch up in the final frame. The Canoneers outscored the Blackbirds, 9-6, in the fourth quarter.

Voorheesville did not have a player reach double digits but had eight players score. Mad-den led the Birds with eight points. Becerra added seven and Glath and Brittany Vogel each chipped in five points.

Watervliet was led by Colfer’s 17 points. Blakemore scored 11 points for the Canoneers and McGlynn scored eight.

"It was wide open," Baron said. "We didn’t back down. We had the advantage a couple of times, but the momentum changed quite a bit."

"Quite a job"

The Blackbirds finished the season with a 7-9 mark in the Colonial Council and a 10-13 record overall. But this was the first trip to the semifinals for a Voorheesville team in a few years.

"I’m proud of the girls," Baron said. "It has been four years since Voorheesville won a sectional game. And we won two and got to the semifinals. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten this far on the girls’ side. We did quite a job. I think a lot of people did not expect a lot from us. We got 10 wins and we’ll build on that."

Baron will have a strong foundation to build on as only three seniors will graduate, though they were important to the Birds’ success this season.

"I had them for one year," Baron said. "Heather Bates, Mary Kate Prendergast, and Brittany Vogel, the three sen-iors, were on the court at the end of the game. Win or lose, they were always on the court in the last couple minutes of the game. It was a fitting trib-ute to them.

"We have six girls coming back that got major minutes and experience," Baron added. "We are going to build off of it."

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland boys’ basketball team ran into an old nemesis in last Thursday’s Class AA Section II semifinal game.

The Dutchmen battled with Christian Brothers Academy at the Times Union Center as they had in an early-season match-up at Columbia’s holiday tournament.

And as in that game, this contest was not decided until the final buzzer sounded.

CBA escaped with a 56-55 win over the Dutchmen, setting a date in the Class AA championship game with rival Bishop Maginn.

Maginn showed no mercy on the Brothers, winning its second consecutive Class AA championship with a 71-51 win.

"We gave them all we had," Guilderland Coach Ron Osinski said after last Thursday’s semifinal. "We were down five or six. It was a great game; we made some stops and got baskets. We just needed more time. We didn’t have enough time-outs."

Final drama

CBA led, 39-35, at the end of the third quarter, and the fourth quarter played out with great drama.

Guilderland senior Brett Marfurt scored on a fast-break lay-up after classmate Andrew Smith grabbed a rebound and threw a long pass to a breaking Marfurt.

CBA senior Deandre Kennedy-Ebron scored inside but that was quickly answered when Guilderland junior Jon Terry scored after grabbing an offensive rebound.

Kennedy-Ebron then knocked down a jump shot and scored inside to give the Brothers a six-point lead, 45-39, with 4:43 left in the contest.

Marfurt kept Guilderland in the game with a jump shot. Then Kennedy-Ebron made a foul shot to put CBA up by four points.

Smith hit a jump shot, which was answered on a jump shot by CBA’s Malcolm Austin. Then Marfurt hit a three-point basket with 2:34 left in the game to cut CBA’s lead to two points, 48-46.

Terry made two free throws to tie the game at 48 with 1:49 left in the game. Austin made two foul shots of his own just a few seconds later to give the Brothers the lead again.

Austin then scored on a fast-break lay-up with 1:02 left in the contest to build the lead to four points.

Marfurt made two foul shots to cut the lead in half but it was only momentary as John Mantas made two foul shots with 31 seconds left to give the Brothers a four-point lead, 54-50.

Marfurt was fouled on the next Guilderland possession and knocked down both ends of the one-and-one to make it a two-point game.

Mantas made two more foul shots with 11 seconds left to make it a four-point lead. Before the second shot, Guilderland used its final time-out.

Guilderland in-bounded the ball and moved up the court where Dan Gejay knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to one with two seconds left.

But the clock continued to run and CBA did not have to inbound the ball and escaped with the victory.

"I thought it was better for us," Osinski said of using the time-out with 11 seconds left. "We drew up a play. The one I would like back is the second time-out I used in the first half. I thought, when we tied the game, we were going into overtime."

Austin led all scorers with 23 points. Kennedy-Ebron added 15 for the Brothers.

Marfurt led the Dutchmen with 19 points. Smith scored 12 and Terry added 11. Gejay scored seven points in his final high school game and junior Kevin Kost added six points.

"A great season"

"I’m proud of the kids," Osinski said. "They did everything I could ask. They came back and made it a game the rest of the way. They played hard throughout. They shot the ball well. The kids we wanted to shoot, shot well. It’s hard to battle tha